By NewsLine Staff

Despite an unavoidable early Sunday closure due to inclement weather, the Mandarin Art Festival’s return after its two-year pandemic-forced hiatus drew record crowds over the Easter weekend.

The largest community event in Mandarin and longest running festival of its kind in Northeast Florida, the Mandarin Art Festival serves as the premier fundraiser of the Mandarin Community Club, with proceeds supporting the club’s preservation, education, and beautification efforts throughout the Mandarin community.

“We are thrilled that the festival return was such a success with record crowds and exhibitor sales,” said Susie Scott, long-time festival chair and president of the Mandarin Community Club. “There was so much positive energy and feedback throughout the weekend welcoming the return of this beloved Easter weekend tradition in Mandarin.” 

As a juried fine art and fine craft show, awards were given to artists in six categories of artistic media, with additional awards including the coveted Best of Show. Ann Manry Kenyon and Vina Schemer, the latter having herself exhibited in the very first Mandarin Art Festival in 1968, served as the festival’s judges. This year’s winners were:

Best Of Show: Lia and Jim Biond

Best Booth Display: Robin Holt

Best Reclaimed/Recycled: Jan Lindahl

Judges’ Choice:

Functional Fine Craft: Jeannie Littleton
Jewelry: Juan Carlos Cahue
Mixed Media: Deborah Mixon
Painting: Dan Goad Booth
Photography: Robert Rommel
Sculpture: Don McCullough

Awards of Merit:

Functional Fine Craft: Tony Mitchell
Jewelry: Christine Witt
Mixed Media: Drew and Sharon Brass
Painting: Danny O’Driscoll
Photography: Peter Schilling
Sculpture/Glass: John Grammer

Favorite budding young artists were also selected by Children’s Art Show Judge Pablo Rivera. 

Best in Show, School
1st: Christ’s Church Academy
2nd: San Jose Episcopal Day School
3rd: Loretto Elementary School

Best in Show, Student
1st: Anberlyn Downey, Christ’s Church Academy
2nd: Harper B., Martin Gottlieb Day School
3rd: Lacie Coleman, Loretto Elementary School

People’s Choice
Evie H., Martin Gottlieb Day School

The 2022 Mandarin Art Festival was made possible, in part, by support from Emily and Lawrence Lisska, VyStar Credit Union, Mari Terbrueggen, Kathy Akel of Watson Realty Corp. Mandarin North Office, and State Farm Agent Jim Register, and was organized by Festival Chair Susie Scott and the all-volunteer Mandarin Art Festival Planning Committee.

Be sure to save the date for next year’s event: April 8 and 9, 2023.

Visit for more information about the annual Mandarin Art Festival.

Photo courtesy Mandarin Community Club
Lia and Jim Biond, Best of Show.